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September 21 – Are you trained for war?

Behold, your troops are women in your midst. – Nahum 3:13a

Scripture reading: Ps. 144

Wait a minute, is the text sexist? Does the Bible have something against women? Not at all! Consider the time and the context of this verse. In the ancient Assyrian Empire, women were not trained for battle. Any person who is not trained for battle, when confronted with a horde of armed soldiers with spears, arrows and swords is going to panic and run around in circles. The issue is training.

The picture described is accurate. Consider the circles in which many people are running. While I am writing this devotion, Covid-19 is in its third wave. Questions abound as to whether someone vaccinated needs to still wear a mask. Can such a person contract this disease again and when will ‘normal life’ resume? Influential leaders and banks are musing about rewarding investors who back green initiatives that won’t promote climate change. Billionaires are divorcing and the media speculates about the collapse of these marriages, even as the billionaires are taking on new ventures, such as how to shield the earth from too much sunlight. I wonder, who should determine what is too much and what is too little sunlight?

Unless our lives are directed by Jesus, the Captain of Salvation, the Author and Perfecter of all true believers, we will run in circles. Those not entirely subjected to Him will run in panic at every sign of every real or imagined disaster. It is the LORD Who trains my hands for war, and it is the LORD Who directs the efforts of His faithful people bringing them to victory.

Suggestion for prayer

Where is the Spirit of the LORD directing your efforts for serving Jesus? Are you faithful in that area, or are you shrinking back? Give thanks to the Father that He has equipped you by His Spirit, training you for precisely the right battles at the right time.

Rev. Richard T. Vander Vaart serves as a visiting prison chaplain in Moncton, New Brunswick for Redemption Prison Ministry. A few years ago he and his wife Carolyn became members of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. They both enjoy hosting friends for dinner and games nights. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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